Daily Slice: Penguin Pizza, Boston

Slice: Boston

Pizza reviews in the Boston area.

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.


[Photograph: Paige Brocious]

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Penguin Pizza, which is just a five minute walk from my apartment. Maybe it's the impressive bottled beer selection, or their 15 cent Monday wing night special, or maybe it's just the trusty neighborhood-joint-feel it gives me.

Penguin is known for their unique topping combinations, like duck confit and red onion, or the current St. Patty's special with corned beef and cabbage. However, on a recent visit the toppings looked dried out, and so it was the Margherita ($3.21), a whopping quarter cut of an 18-inch pie, that caught my eye.

The bottom crust was super thin, something I generally look for in a good slice, but this was overshadowed by the its mushy texture and a lack of charring. A few loose grains of cornmeal on the underside didn't fix that. However, the encrust received a slightly burnt edge, giving the slice that much-needed crunch. The tomato sauce, made in-house, was tangy and generously peppered. I was informed that the advertised "house cheese blend" on the Margherita was a mozzarella and monterey jack, an unlikely and non-traditional pairing that actually worked. Uniformly melted together, they made a nice creamy salty duo. (There are several pies on the menu that use this blend, while others call for just the mozzarella.) Plus a spread of fresh basil makes this a good slice for the value, albeit not the best in its class. A few beers certainly can't hurt its case though.

Penguin Pizza

735 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 (map) 617-277-9200; thepenguinpizza.com